It Was Ladies Day

So if Saturday was Ladies Night, that must make today Ladies Day! My same group of girls from Saturday went to the zoo together today – except we had the little ones with us and were therefore double the number. 4 adults and 4 kids. 1 : 1 – always a good kid : adult ratio in my book.

Although our nasal passages weren’t pleased with us, we visited the birds upon our arrival this morning. I was a little shocked to find these guys RIGHT THERE, feathers and all, not held back by any cage or fence, just a couple of free birds.

No Fence

Maxine wouldn’t stop saying how stinky it was and asked to leave, so we did – but we were followed!

Bird On the Loose

This picture was taken from the other side of a glass door. I would not stand there like a dope taking pictures while being stalked by a giant lunatic bird. Oh sure, everyone in the back there is smiling in that picture, but smiles turned to nervous laughter as they worked escape without letting this renegade bag of feathers reenact The Birds.

Maybe that’s why they weren’t caged? The zoo is hoping he’ll eventually follow someone home and they’ll be rid of him? Well I’m not falling for it.

Moving on.

Ava was impressed that this rodent ate popcorn like she does.

He Eats Popcorn Too

Speaking of eating, before we knew it kids were crying and we realized it was time for lunch!

Picnic Lunch

We enjoyed a picnic lunch in the sun, brought my salad – To Go style.

Salad Profile

A little dressing…

A Little Dressing

And tossed! I’d like you to believe that I’m winking and flirting with you but really I was squinting from the sun. The flirting sounds much more interesting though so let’s stick with that.

Not Winking

Tossed and perfectly coated!

Tossed Salad

After lunch came playing in the Zoo Animal Clinic for Kids.

Dr. Max observes an x-ray and thinks things are looking sort of grim for this little bugger.

Looking Grim

More zooventures, waiting for orangutans.

Waiting For Orangutans

Waiting for orangutans makes me hungry! Fortunately I had a lovely concoction of dried apples, raisins and walnuts to tied me over.

Trail Mix

A long day at the zoo – and Maxine is done.

And She's Done

But there’s always a little energy left for a quick playground stop on the way home.

Zoo Playground

Why yes she is wearing a different dress, thank you for noticing. That’s what happens when you drink too much water and mom doesn’t double check if you have to go potty before we leave the zoo. Now we know.

Tonight for dinner I had Mary and Tina’s Black Bean Chili with Bulgur on the brain! They both gave it rave reviews and once I realized that I had almost all the ingredients for this recipe I knew what we’d be having for dinner tonight.

I didn’t have any bulgur so I subbed the fabulous psedo-grain that I happened to have on hand; Quinoa!

I diced and sauteed a small red onion and some minced garlic in extra virgin olive oil until soft. I added two 15 oz cans of diced tomatoes, 2 cans of rinsed and drained black beans and then about 3/4 c of rinsed quinoa. My spices were oregano, paprika, chili powder, roasted red pepper and cumin. The quinoa cooks pretty quickly and this was ready in about 20 minutes.

Cooking Quinoa Chili

It turned out great! I topped mine with diced avocado just like Mary Girl and Tina Baby. A perfect topping.

Black Bean and Quinoa Chili

Now I’m off to have nightmares about stinky bird attacks while the giant popcorn eating rodents use my air popper and don’t even try to save me.

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It’s Officially September

I was greeted with morning temps under 50 this morning! OK, OK, it’s September. I believe you! Now crank up the temp, it’s not fall yet.

Morning Temp

Hello long sleeves, seems like just yesterday I had put you away for the season.

Long Sleeves

And oh yes, long pants, how could I forget about you too?

Long Pants

A quick pre-ride nosh of watermelon and off I went on my bike.

Pre-Ride Nosh

50 chilly minutes and 12 frozen finger miles later I was home to shower, make breakfast, pack lunches and get out the door!

Breakfast was (wait for it… wait for it…) more watermelon. I’m so predictable.

This is absolutely The World’s Best Smoothie.

Kiwi Watermelon Smoothie

Just watermelon and kiwi. That’s it. Crazy that something so good is so simple!

I slurped my smoothie down while I packed our lunch.

Packed Lunch

Fortunately it’s warmed up already and we’ve got a beautiful day in store for us. Loading up my beasts and we’re off to meet our friends at the ZOOOOOO!